Christmas in Iceland - 15.12.1940, Blaðsíða 11

Christmas in Iceland - 15.12.1940, Blaðsíða 11
beloved rector iying in a heap at the foot of the stairs. But what they saw was even more terrible. They saw nothing. They ran out of the door, which was standing open, but the only thing that could be seen was the rectors horse, standing nuzz- ling at the stable gate, asking to be let in. Tucked under the saddle were the rector’s gloves and whip, just as he had left them when he dismounted. No other living being could be found, though they searched till dawn. The next day they widened the search. They questioned the man whose duty it had been to escort the rector that night. His story was that he had performed his duty faithfully, seeing the rector back as far as the gate at the end of the drive. Here the rector had told him to go home, saying that he would surely be safe for the few yards that separated him from his own front doorstep. That was the last that anyone ever saw of him. They continued to search for him far and wide, but with little hope of success, and finally the hunt was called off, with the ques- tion still unanswered. But one man refused to give up hope — old torsteinn, the farm hand who had found “Mad Solveig” with her throat cut, deter- mined to find out, if he could, what had happened to his master. For this, he enlisted the help of GuSlaug, the woman who used to sleep with Solveig, for GuSlaug was reput- ed to have second sight, and indeed, some said that she was a witch, horstein’s scheme was that he should sleep wita some of the rector’s clothes and other things under his pillow, while GuSlaug should, watch by his bedside, to see what might come. To begin with, GuSlaug saw that horsteinn found it difficult to get to sleep, but finally, after some tossing and turning, he lay still and quiet. Then, quite suddenly, “Mad Solveig” was leaning over him. She had some- thing in her hand — what it was GuSlaug could not see at first. That hand moved slowly out over the sleeping horstein’s head, and GuSlaug saw to her horror that it con- tained a knife — the very knife with which Solveig had taken her own life, horsteinn M esse rsch mitts Ten little Messerschmitts flying in a line One met a Hurricane, then there were nine. Nine little Messerschmitts on a job of hate, Ran into Ack-Ack, then there were eight. Eight little Messerschmitts zooming down from heaven. One hit a barrage blimp, then there were seven. Seven little Messerschmitts trying all their tricks, One'got a black-out then there were six. Six little Messerschmitts forced into a dive, Up popped some Home Guards, then there were five. Five little Messerschmitts feeling somewhat sore, Swooped on a trawler, then there were four. Four little Messerschmitts heading out to sea, One met a Hudson then there were three. Three little Messerchmitts, harting through the blue. Swerved on a convoy, then there were two. Two little Messerschmitts, each complete with Hun, Had a collision then there was none. No little Messerchmitts. When Joe Goebbels learned. Out went the bulletin, „A11 of ours returned”. began to move uneasily in his sleep, grima- cing fearfully, and muttering indistinct words. GuSlaug sprang to her feet — and the white figure with the knife vanished. When GuSlaug woke horsteinn and asked him what he had dreamt, he answered that he had seen Solveig coming to him across the floor, and heard her say, “It’s no good. You will never find out what happened to Oddur Gislason”. She then leant over and tried to cut his throat, and he could not do anything about it. “Even now”, he went on, “I can still feel a sort of burning pain on my throat, where the knife touched”. Without a word, GuSlaug rose, took a mirror from the wall, and held it up to him. The blood was oozing in a tiny trickle from a thin red mark across his throat. CHRISTMAS IN ICELAND B


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